Dubai: Saud Arabian stocks dropped in early trade on Wednesday in line with other GCC stock markets which pulled back after a recent rally made a point for investors to encash their positions. But Saudi's dairy company Almarai extended its gains after acquiring Bakemart in UAE and Bahrain.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index dropped 0.3 per cent to 9,631 points under pressure from a wide sell-off. But the gauge was pushed lower the most by banking and petrochemical stocks with Al Rajhi Bank, Riyad Bank, Sabic and Saudi Kayan all dropping.
Investors cheer acquisition
However, Almarai shares appreciated for a second consecutive day after the Gulf's largest dairy firm acquired 100 per cent of Bakemart UAE and Bakemart Bahrain for an enterprise value of AED 93.5 million in a deal aimed at further expanding Almarai’s bakery product offering. The acquisition will also contribute to the kingdom's food security in alignment with the kingdom's vision 2030, the company said.
Dubai Financial Market dropped 1.2 per cent to trade at 2,590 points after rallying for five days in a row and making the selling of positions attractive to investors. The subdued performance was seen across sectors with financial and real estate stocks weighing more than others led by Emirates NBD and Emaar Properties which retreated 2.6 and 1.1 per cent, respectively.
Emaar Development plunged 3.2 per cent after its board of directors invited shareholders for an April 8 meeting seeking their approval for distributing no 2020 dividends. The proposal comes on the backdrop of the developer reporting last month lower full-year profits which shrank to Dh1.66 billion from Dh2.7 billion as the already suffering Dubai property market took a further hit in the virus-ravaged year.
Banks at backfoot
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange eased back 0.3 per cent from a five-day rally triggered by a $1.9 trillion US aid package, Dubai's 2040 urban development plan and as investors looked to central banks policy meetings this week for monetary guidance.
Banks, which gained the most in the last few days, dragged the index most on Wednesday. First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah all traded lower.